Jim Futral, executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, has announced his retirement, effective Oct. 31 of this year.
Futral, 74, has led the Mississippi convention for 20 years, since Sept. 1, 1998.
At the time of his unanimous election by the mission board, Futral was the convention’s president and a pastor in Jackson. He also was a member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Executive Committee (EC) and a member of the local Metro Baptist Association’s executive committee. Futral chaired the MBCB executive committee from 1993-96 and was a member the previous three years.
Futral had led Broadmoor Baptist Church since 1985, previously serving six churches in Mississippi and two in Texas dating back to 1964.
In a letter announcing his retirement, Futral stated, “While I was and am and always will forever be a pastor, it has been my joy to seek to shepherd the greater flock across our state.
“The decision to leave my church and come here to serve was one of the most difficult callings I had ever faced, but oh the joys I have received,” Futral wrote. “I love Mississippi. I love the people, and I have loved serving the churches and the people of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. I am so thankful. As I go, I look forward, not to retirement, but to whatever reassignment the Lord may have for my life.”
Although a native of Arkansas, Futral grew up in Mississippi, recounting to the mission board after his 1998 election to lead the state’s Baptists, “I would take you back, all the way back to Pheba (Miss.) Baptist Church where I was born again as a 9-year-old boy.”
“It’s like yesterday I met Jesus, and I haven’t gotten over that and I don’t intend to.”
Futral holds master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; an undergraduate degree from Mississippi’s Blue Mountain College; and an associate degree from the former Clarke College in Newton, Miss.
His longstanding Directions column often reflecting everyday observations and life lessons can be accessed at mbcb.org/directions.
Futral’s father, the late Guy Futral Sr., was a longtime Baptist preacher. Futral’s brother, Guy Jr., formerly was director of church minister relations for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
Futral and his wife Shirley have three grown children and eight grandchildren.